christened 6 September 1735 in the church of Llanfihangel y Pennant, Caernarfonshire, son of Dr. Robert Roberts (1707 - 1769), Isallt, Dolbenmaen; for the family pedigree, see J. E. Griffith, Pedigrees, 359 — it was a branch of the Cesail Gyfarch family, and produced an exceptionally large number (? thirty) of medical men. He practised at Dolgelley, living for some years in what was later known as ' Hen Dŷ'r Doctor ' (Plas Isa) and now forming part of the Golden Lion hotel. At Dolgelley he had access to the Hengwrt manuscripts (in Welsh and other languages) which, in his day, were still at Hengwrt. Moreover, he himself owned several manuscripts, many of which now form part of the Hengwrt-Peniarth collection in N.L.W.; for particulars, with references also to other Welsh manuscripts, which he owned, see the 'Introduction' to N.L.W. Handlist of Manuscripts, i, xii-xiv. He was, in consequence, looked upon by other persons who wished to see or copy manuscripts in Hengwrt as the natural mediator between them and the owners of the collection; some of these persons also visited him for that purpose and to see his own manuscripts. By his wife, Margaret — (who died 1806), he had two sons — William, who joined the Navy as a surgeon, and Griffith, who succeeded his father in practice at Dolgelley, but only for a few years, for he died in 1815; he, too, collected manuscripts. Griffith Roberts senior was also interested in the Anglesey copper mines and in mining operations in Merioneth. He died 28 December 1808. Fuller details can be obtained from numerous letters in N.L.W. noted in the reference cited above; see also Merioneth Hist. Soc. Jnl., i, 119-21.
Published date: 1959
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